Monday 11 February 2019

Poetry Monday: Driving

It's Poetry Monday, and this week's topic is "driving" . . . Join Delores and me as we take this topic out for a spin! You can leave a poem in the comments on either of our blogs, or on your own. If you do the latter, be sure to leave a comment so we can come along and enjoy your contribution.


As you might have guessed from my accidental posting earlier, which I was only attempting to rename so I could start this one instead, but failed, I was going to write about all the driving I did during December and January to our daughter's house, which our son is now renting, which we were helping to prepare for rental, which is a three-and-a-half-hour round trip away from us; driving that took me through rain, snow flurries, snow squalls, heavy snow, unplowed roads, and unsalted roads, and always the trip home was after dark, so there was that complication, too.

And then I realized, there really wasn't anything to write about, much less write a good poem about. I drove. I ran into weather. I got home unscathed. I did it numerous times. I'm still alive.

It always faintly surprises me -- but definitely makes me happy -- when I do that drive and I get home alive. I feel like someday that will not happen. It's mostly highway, and I'm fine with that, but I don't like the merging into traffic and I really, really don't like when traffic is merging with me. Add in the bad weather and it gets my blood pressure up a bit.

However, it's not at all exciting or interesting except in the way that I keep having a sense of impending doom and it keeps turning out okay.

So at the last minute I decided I had to write about "driving" in some other way.

I love this meme, so I started with that:

I was the primary vehicular conveyance operator when our kids were in school, so I identify with this kitty. (Kids, if you're reading, it was the carpool kids I'm talking about, not you, LOL)

But that didn't loosen up my poem-writing brain cells a bit, so I decided just to post all the memes in my files about animals driving vehicles. Don't worry, there's a poem at the end, kinda.

And the poem? It's a re-working of an old verse my friends and I used to write in each other's autograph books back in junior high school (do you remember autograph books?) and the original went like this (insert name of friend where I have put Jenny):

Jenny had a little car
And it was painted red
And everywhere that Jenny went
The police picked up the dead

It doesn't seem so funny now, after decades of driving -- and decades of reading about road fatalities in the newspapers -- but at the time we thought it was hilarious.

Anyhow, my poem today is prompted by a story my long-haul trucker uncle told us a few years back. He and another trucker were driving one behind the other on a stretch of highway, and his buddy told him to look out for a particular colour and make of car that had just passed him and was approaching my uncle's truck to pass him. The buddy said to take a good look at the woman driving the car.

So my uncle did. And what did he see? The woman was nursing a baby, drinking a can of pop, smoking a cigarette, and talking on her cell phone. While passing tractor-trailers on the highway.

True story.

Phew! Makes you wonder how long she lived to keep doing that . . .

Time for the new version.



Missy had a little car
She liked to drive it fast
If there were any cars in front
She simply had to pass

If thirst or hunger crossed her mind
She drank or ate at will
If craving for a cigarette
Her craving she'd fulfill

If friends sent her a text or two
Or called her on her phone
She'd type or chat without delay
Too social to postpone

She thought that highway safety rules
Were never meant for her
But only for "the other guy"
To whom she was a blur

Then came a day she thumbed her nose
At rules one time too many
What happened then in Missy's life?
Why, Missy hadn't any


Whoa, that took a dark turn. But also a realistic one. I just hope Missy didn't take anyone else out with her when she went for her final drive . . .


Please have a good week and drive safely! And especially watch out for the Missys of the world. So you can come back next week and see what Delores and I are up to :)

Nothing to do with the post or the poem, but what a cool cat :)

Update:  Delores has come up with next week's topic:  WINTER WINDOWS . . . thank you, Delores!



Anonymous said...

Those pet photos are funny. The first poem is a little dark, but still, quite funny. The second one is scarily apt.

Elephant's Child said...

Loved all the animal memes. And cringe at the Missy's of this world. Invincible - until they aren't.
And, in a sad sort of way, how nice to know that someone else shares my dread of car trips. I am always a tad surprised to reach home safely.

River said...

I remember autograph books, every girl in grade six had one it seems, so I bought one too, but it remained empty except for a rhyme on the very last page, written by my stepfather, "By hook or by crook, I'll be last in this book." I was too shy to run around the school yard getting things written in it.
As for driving, that Missy sure came to a sorry end. I'll just hope the bus drivers keep driving me safely.

dinthebeast said...

As a former professional driver, I have to say that I like your poem a lot.
I have seen the hideousness.
I don't currently have a license to drive.
I went in and was evaluated for one at the rehab facility, and that went OK, but somehow I haven't gotten motivated to go jump through the hoops at the DMV to get my license back.
I think I mostly just wanted to find out if I still had any business out on the road, because I won't be that marginal driver. I'll get around otherwise if it comes to that.
I felt OK driving Briana's car around the giant parking lots at the race track, but there's something troubling about not having the full use of my left foot, even though you're not supposed to use it anyway, since the headlight dimmer was moved to the dash.
I'll probably get it at some point, if only for convenience sake, but I'm not in any particular hurry.
Maybe having driven a million miles (or thereabout) already, I don't feel much of a need to drive a bunch more.

-Doug in Oakland

only slightly confused said...

Oh Jenny, that was terrific (the poem, not the driver). Now what will our theme be for next week? hmmmm......okay.....the theme for next week is 'WINTER WINDOWS'. How does that grab you?

Starting Over, Accepting Changes - Maybe said...

Since I retired, I drive much less. Wherever we go, the Retired Man is in the drivers seat. As a result, my fears have increased and I stay away from highways with large trucks. Thankfully, there are ways of getting to places by driving on country roads where I am not bothered by passing massive vehicles. I have been in a few accidents, none of them my fault, but the trauma of them has come back to haunt me these past few years and, like you, I have been very glad to make it home, especially after driving through snow.

Joanne Noragon said...

My brother in law, and now my nephew drive over the road. My nephew has become a safety instructor for his company. In the meantime, both of them tell hair raising stories. True stories. Always be thinking about the semi near you. Treat it with respect.

Susan said...

You have done a public service today with your cautionary tale. I have just avoided a doom drive as the sweet girl at the nursing home, who manages volunteers, just emailed everyone to stay home and be safe due to slippery roads. I could kiss her, if I was there, which of course I'm not.

jenny_o said...

The first poem would have been passed around among twelve year olds - I don't think any of us realized the dark part of it! Thank you for visiting, Andrew.

jenny_o said...

That dread is a real, identifiable stress, isn't it? It colours all my anticipation of wherever I am going. It wouldn't be so bad if we could all just drive carefully, but the Missys affect us as well as themselves.

jenny_o said...

I have that same verse written on the last page in my book, River! Maybe I should do a post someday on some of the little verses I received. There were a few that stand out in my memory.

Stay safe on those buses!

jenny_o said...

I remember you mentioning your job driving. I had two uncles in the long-haul business. I don't know how they did it, and I don't know how you did it! I'd be happy with a magic wand that would whisk me to my destination without ever touching a gas pedal. I remember when the dimmer switch was on the floor of cars too - that was a good many years ago :)

jenny_o said...

By the throat, Delores - by the throat! lol I have not even a glimmer of a scrap of a beginning of a thought on winter windows but I'll give it a try! ha ha Thank you for the new topic!

jenny_o said...

I can imagine how much more stressful a trip would be after having a few accidents, Arleen. I like your solution of using country roads. Our highways tend to be better plowed and salted than our country roads, so I am nervous of going off the beaten path except in summer. Like you and your husband, our driving is usually done by my husband, which meant there were many years I didn't get any highway practice.

jenny_o said...

Being on the road a lot, I expect they have seen just about everything. I worry about all "the other guys" on the road because you can't predict what they will do from moment to moment, and while a semi is enormous, another personal vehicle can do a lot of damage at high speeds too.

jenny_o said...

Good for her - that's being proactive and wise! She deserves a bunch of kisses!

Marie Smith said...

Every time we venture out on the roads here we have a dangerous encounter with reckless drivers, speeding, passing on the wrong side etc. One must be alert more than usual it seems.

Great poem.

e said...

I always hated driving, especially here where traffic is king.Dark truths are often veiled in comedy.

Janie Junebug said...

The poem is all too true so it's a good warning. When I drive to work, I have to merge onto the interstate and then quickly get three lanes over. I breathe a sigh of relief every time I make it.


jenny_o said...

It's the other drivers who are the unknown quantity, and they can end up being very scary!

jenny_o said...

"Dark truths" - you are so right, e.

jenny_o said...

I wouldn't make it even once - my hat is off to you! (We don't have any roads that busy in our province.)

messymimi said...

Having been a delivery driver, and being on the road a lot, i agree with your poem. The Missy's of the world scare me worse than driving during a hurricane did. (Yes, i drove during hurricane conditions to rescue a stranded child.)

Diane Henders said...

I know what you mean - every time I'm approaching home after a long drive, I start to think, "Okay, I just have to make it a LITTLE bit farther..."

And I'm pretty sure I've seen Missy many times over my years of driving. My goal is to stay out of her way, fall back, and avoid the flying debris.

Martha said...

Oh my gosh, that nursing mother...!!! That is awful, especially that the baby was unsafe. And yes, I remember autograph books! What fun that was. We used to write all kinds of silly things in them.

The poem was great. So much truth in it. I've seen some crazy things on the road, but I guess we all do given enough time.

Thanks for all the funny memes!

baili said...

Oh my your driving story is quite frightening my dear friend Jenny!

I think you are an Amazing driver to get back home safely without being hurt by the Grace of God!

I loved the poem will much though it has sad end

Best you said that we have to be careful about all misses of the world !

Hope you are doing perfectly fine and hearing the footsteps of spring which is almost near you😊

Steve Reed said...

LOL -- that WAS a dark poem. I love the driving koala, although I suspect that little koala was placed on the steering wheel. He/she looks pretty bewildered.

jenny_o said...

That sounds very frightening, mimi - not something a person would want to repeat!

jenny_o said...

Your first sentence? Yes! Every time!

Sounds like a good plan about driving around an unsafe driver . . .

jenny_o said...

The baby, yes - I just wonder how that baby did in later years with that kind of raising up . . .

jenny_o said...

I wish I enjoyed driving like some people do, but I'm always concentrating too hard on arriving safely, baili :)

Spring . . . spring is still so far away I can't hear any footsteps yet at all - ha ha! But she will be here eventually, I'm sure :)

jenny_o said...

He does, doesn't he? But MAYBE he climbed it; koalas must be good climbers to stay up in the trees . . . I'll keep telling myself that . . . I don't like to use photos that might have involved harm - actual harm or just indignities - to animals.

jono said...

Way late here, but that is an excellent poem! A scary thought occurred to me. What if cats really could drive!

jenny_o said...

Hah!! I expect they'd either fall asleep two minutes into the trip or have terrible road rage :)

Mr. Shife said...

Hi jenny_o. Always a good time when I stop by and read your awesome stuff. Thanks for all that you do.

kylie said...

i love to drive! not if the traffic is horrendous though.
drinking, smoking, nursing a baby and using a phone sounds like a recipe for disaster! I guess the kid wasnt screaming at the same time so thats a bonus

jenny_o said...

Thanks for being a loyal reader, Mr. S!

jenny_o said...

lol - probably WAS screaming right before the nursing, though . . . that poor child . . .

LL Cool Joe said...

I love driving, but I'm not a massive fan of driving in the rain. My Wrangler Jeep isn't the most stable of cars on wet roads. And we have a lot of those in England.

Love the memes! :D

jenny_o said...

Maybe it's your tires? A Jeep is good for snow, at least! (if you have good tires)

I wish I liked driving. My husband and son are like you - they enjoy it.